The junta in Myanmar has released more than 9000 prisoners along with seven dissidents from the opposition National league for Democracy Party.
U Win Tin, after his release from the Insein Prison in Yangon
One of them is U Win Tin, a prominent journalist and activist, who has spent at least 19 years in jail.
The amnesty was reportedly granted so the prisoners can take part in elections planned for 2010.
The UN has urged Burma to release all political prisoners as part of the country’s seven-step "roadmap to democracy".
Human rights groups say that there are about 2,000 political prisoners in Myanmar.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the last 19 years under house arrest.